Moscow court orders seizure of Memorial’s Moscow headquarters: Reports


A Moscow court on Friday ordered the seizure of Memorial’s Moscow headquarters, in a ruling issued hours after the rights group was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the agencies reported.

The Tverskoy District Court ordered that the group’s headquarters in Moscow “become state property”, the Interfax news agency reported.

Memorial, Russia’s most renowned rights group, was officially dissolved by authorities in December last year.

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He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, along with imprisoned Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties.

A representative of the Attorney General’s office accused Memorial in court of “rehabilitating Nazi criminals, discrediting authorities and creating a false image of the USSR”.

Russian authorities presented Memorial as an organization tarnishing the country’s past.

Memorial has documented Stalinist crimes since its inception in 1989, creating a huge historical archive.

Concerns grew over the fate and safety of the archives after the group disbanded.

Memorial representative Yan Rachinsky said the group was offered to take the archive abroad, but it was decided to keep it in Russia.

“The archives were collected here, and people gave us their documents, not for us to take them somewhere,” he said.

“Our goal is to preserve the archives.”

The group’s headquarters also regularly hosted exhibitions open to the public.

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